Thursday, February 10, 2011

The First Week

Our first week as full-time parents to my 14-year old son has come and gone.  Let me tell you there were some doozies!  First of all, he eats a ton.  We are not used to cooking so much food!  It's a full breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am so grateful that DH has started to take cooking to the next level and really enjoys it!  His cooking is so much appreciated because I leave for work at 7:30 and come home at 3:30.  I am pretty tired after dealing with 6 or 7 at-risk boys at Independence HS.  We had BLT's for breakfast this morning, the best fried potatoes yesterday morning and banana pancakes the morning before. It was hecka good!!!

Another thing is that Joseph has a lot of catching up to do academically.  He has missed long periods of school for virtually every year of school since kindergarten.  And while he is very intelligent, he doesn't understand some of the math concepts that he should have known in elementary school.  So there is a lot of catch-up to do.  That is another thing that DH has so unselfishly done.  Every single night he has had to help Joseph with his homework and help him to understand what he isn't understanding at school.  This means that first he has to understand the math himself.  (Fortunately, it is only math that seems to be the thing that is giving Joseph the problems.)  So first he is going over it himself to make sure he gets it and then he tries to explain it to Joseph.  One night it took 3 hours to get his homework right. So while Joseph got off to a rocky start and had to be put back in math, he is now starting to turn in his homework and do well on his tests.  I am optimistic that he will be able to catch up!

Apparently in Virginia, where he had been living, Joseph was used to quite a bit of freedom, taking off wherever and whenever he wanted to.  He lived in a very small rural area, with lots of forest and wooded areas.  He and his dog, Shadow, would go exploring a lot.  This cannot happen here, because there is so much to do after school and only so much time to do it in.  One day, Joseph didn't come home.  After an hour, I decided to go looking for him.  I was worried that he had missed the bus and had forgotten our number and had started out walking himself.  I drove around and ended up at the school and patrolled the deserted halls but didn't find him.  I called a couple of other boys' moms to see if they had seen him, but they hadn't.  Finally, after almost two hours, he walked in the house, followed by two boys.  They had gotten off at the other kid's bus stop and had gone to his house, hung out, gone to the second kid's house, hung out, and now they were at our house, ready to see what was here.  So we had a little chat about that.  

He is used to going to bed whenever he wants and so where it should only take him 30 minutes to complete a shower, brush his teeth and get to bed, it takes him up to an hour and a half to get it all done.  We have to stay on top of him constantly to keep him focused and on time.  
I honestly have to say, I couldn't do it if I didn't have DH helping and participating - fully committed and engaged to what we are focusing on:  helping Joseph to succeed this year in school.  But having him here is so wonderful.  He brings such a great spirit to our home.  He is so funny. He is so fresh.  He wants to accomplish things but he needs our loving help and support.  In turn, we need his sweet ways and innocent sense of adventure.  He just loves our dog, Evee.  It gives us a new sense of purpose. I am just tickled pink.  I only hope that it can continue on, but I'm not sure.  It will be mostly up to him if he chooses to stay.  Maybe this routine is too structured for him.  He has been left to do virtually everything on his own his whole life--with no routine, no discipline (except by his older brother--Yikes!), and no stability (always moving around).  I hope that he will like it here and realize that what he can get here is stability, routine, discipline and encouragement.  So far, so good!


SkippyMom said...

My heart skipped a beat for you and you family. How wonderful your son is back home with you.

I wish you all the best and can't wait to read a whole lot more.

Take care and best wishes.

scrilla said...

Joseph is so lucky to have you both! Sending our love your way. XOXO

Robin said...

Hi Helena! Thanks for commenting on my blog -- just wanted to let you know that I posted in regard to your question about Bentos. :)

Looks like your son is in very capable hands! Congratulations on being reunited!
Have a great weekend,

Chastina said...

It's hard to adjust to new rules. I'm sure he will adjust, and so will you. It's so nice having someone to help out with homework and making meals.

Octamom said...

So thrilled that your son has you and your DH to guide him into his destiny. Blessings and hugs as you make the adjustment to him being home!